Musicians Meetup #3 - Ambient Jam

Paul Cohen
Producer
28 September 2017

Hey there!
At last meetup we discussed the possibility of having a studio jam for the next meetup, and some drinks/discussion after.

**Location**
Junta found a studio in Dogenzaka which looks they have a big room which accommodates 20 people. It costs ¥4,500/1h. Check out “10studio(30帖)”. http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/detail

If you've found another please add it in the comments.

**Session Length & Costs**
I think we'd want 2 hours minimum, which means we need at least 10 confirmed people (ie; no no shows) to commit in advance and preferably pre-pay.
10 players (randomly rotating) means ~1000 yen/person, if we get interested audience we can go to 20 and cut costs even more - if we all split the cost. Or 20 players. or 5 players and 15 audience.

**Date**
Anticipate having it late October, depending on interest and studio availability.

**Are you interested**
This is just an expression of interest post to gauge who's interested.
Once we get a sense of who & when people are most available we can move onto firming it up.

If you are interested please post a comment indicating:
. Your preferred day(s)/timeslot(s)
. Musician or Audience (audience is most welcome!)
. If musician what instruments you will play

We'll likely not please everybody but we can try.

Other Canvas creatives more than welcome to join in.
Photographers, filmmakers, artists want to photograph, film, draw or whatever!

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
28 September 2017

Paul Cohen Ambient Jam sounds interesting! Why don't we put some links of your favorite ambient piece for inspirations?

Paul Cohen
Producer
28 September 2017

Sounds good. After you!

Paul Cohen
Producer
1 October 2017

Here's a great article/soundguide for some inspiration:
A Massive Survey of Contemporary Ambient Music
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/03/17/contemporary-ambient-music-list/

Goran Popovic
Photographer
1 October 2017

Im down. I play guitar and drums. I can also bring my camera and snap some photos if don't end up playing. I love this idea.

-g

Sara Segel
Musician
1 October 2017

Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Paul. May I suggest Oct. 18th or 25th? I can bring (play) a synth and/or (atmospheric) drum machine, but I’d also like to incorporate some abstract vocals.

Paul Cohen
Producer
1 October 2017

Welcome Goran!
Sounds great Sara.

Please spread the word!

Bill Tribble
Artist
2 October 2017

I'm definitely interested. Can usually do any evening except Thursday. I'd play synth / guitar / both.

Paul Cohen
Producer
5 October 2017

Great!

What's the minimum number you all want to do it with (considering costs etc)? 5? 10?

Also had this ambient/generative article hit my inbox from Ableton yesterday, could be useful if you use Live:
"Demonstration Disc is, ostensibly, a new album by Jason Grier; equally so, it’s a collection of free samples and generative music tools which Grier spent the past 4 years carving, cutting, and coding from studio recordings of acoustic and electronic instruments, field recordings, found sounds and wayward sonic data." https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/jason-grier-demonstration-disc/

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
10 October 2017

It'd be nice to have more than 5?

In terms of the balance of instruments, I think it's pretty good so far. Maybe nice to have a bass player too? Personally sax player would be great though.

Goran - Guitar and drums
Sara - Synth and/or (atmospheric) drum machine, abstract vocals
Bill - Synth / guitar
Paul - What will you play?
Junta - Guitar (Electric/acoustic), Synth, Minimal piano

Bill Tribble
Artist
10 October 2017

Sounds like an amazing lineup! Any of the synths can do bass parts mind :)

Sara Segel
Musician
10 October 2017

I’d prefer around 10 people in terms of group dynamic and cost. I’ll also bring my flute + mic + reverb/delay pedal. If anyone has a looper, please bring it. :) I’ll pass the word about the event again...

Paul Cohen
Producer
10 October 2017

Thanks for the input everyone.

If we could spread the word and round up a few more people it would be great.

I can make noise with:
. Slide guitar + eBow + FX (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj_FlRKDV4c for an old video using Zoom's very first FX Unit!)
. Harmonica (also known as Pocket Saxophone;-) + FX (Zoom G3n++)
. Shakuhachi (Key D, not expert player but can add some atmosphere)
. 1 Tibetan singing bowel
. Strange vocal noise

The Zoom G3n has a looper but I need to work a little more with it. It's not as fully featured as the standalone units but I think you can so some stuff with it.

Bill Tribble
Artist
10 October 2017

Doubt we'd need a looper with 5+ people in the room!

Paul Cohen
Producer
10 October 2017

True!

We could always do a jam on Terry Riley's In C. Natural looping!
https://teropa.info/blog/2017/01/23/terry-rileys-in-c.html

Cae Rale
Musician
10 October 2017

Happy to play whatever. Synth, guitar, percusion, etc.

Mauro Arrighi
Musician
10 October 2017

Count me in! Ambient guitar (I go with my Zoom straight into the mixer/PA, no Amply needed). Free on the 21st, 22nd and 31st (all day).

s elliot perez
Musician
11 October 2017

Hi, I can play viola or do some computer improv with Pure Data. I'm free the 19th, 20th, 21st. 27th, 28th or 30th. (or 22nd/29th later in the evening)

Paul Cohen
Producer
11 October 2017

Okay! Starting to get some more interest.

So far we have 8

Junta Mitsugi
Goran Popovic
Sara Segel
Bill Tribble
Paul Cohen
Cae Rale
Mauro Arrighi
S Elliot Perez

Paul Cohen
Producer
17 October 2017

Anyone have alternate suggestions for a free jam location?
I'd go with 8 but realistically we may lose one or two and it's a lot of work to organise pre-payment etc to minimize my risk of getting stiffed with a studio bill. Sorry, but I have a kid to feed and he's also wanting a Switch for his birthday at the end of the month;-)

Possibly a live music bar we can take over for an evening if they're cool with some experimental ambient music? We use it for free, they get some music, maybe some people will drop in to buy a drink.

I'll state upfront I'm firmly in the "Musicians must get paid for gigs" camp and also firmly NOT in the "Pay to play in a jam session" camp that seems to be doing the rounds in Tokyo (which is different from a group of us hiring a studio to jam in privately).

This would be a freestyle free jam type of thing. Like jam sessions used to be, and should be imo;-)
I think Ruby Room still does that on tuesdays, but I have not played there for years. It was always a pita getting there early enough to sign up for it though.

Maybe on a slow weeknight, we could get the place for free.
Only needs a small stage with a PA to plug in effects etc, maybe a minimal drumkit setup and some amps?

Please list suggestions here:
. Dickens (possibly)

Bill Tribble
Artist
17 October 2017

Don't know if everyone here uses Paypal, but that might be a possible solution. I'd be happy to pay you in advance for sure.

Alternatively, there's a tiny bar called Gari Gari that might host us.

Paul Cohen
Producer
17 October 2017

I have paypal. I talked with Paul McMahon (doorkeeper dev/ceo) and he clued me in on the best ways to do pre-payment for this situation (there's some setup due to the way the canvas community is set up on Doorkeeper).

Just thought I'd throw the free jam idea out there first before following up on that.

Trouble with Tokyo live houses is a lot of them have a business model built around exploiting Jam sessions. I understand the economics of live music and bars etc, but I have a really deep objection to that business model. Real jams should be free. Free to play, free to enter. Just buy a drink at the bar. Rehearsed bands who can actually play should be paid though...and that's a whole other can of worms;-)

But I'm sure there's some willing venues out there.

Bill Tribble
Artist
17 October 2017

Agreed.

By the way, the email notification from Canvas could do a better job of highlighting the fact there's a longer message in the actual forum!

Currently seems to just cut messages off without indicating there's more.

Paul Cohen
Producer
17 October 2017

I also have one of these little monster mini amps http://middle8reviews.com/vox-mini3-g2-modeling-guitar-amplifier-review/ which I can bring.

Fernando Gros
Artist
18 October 2017

I can't make the meetup, but I have a stash of music business books I was going to throw out. If anyone wants them, let me know. Email me via my profile and I can send a photo.

Paul Cohen
Producer
20 October 2017

So no more bar suggestions?

Two other options for Studio @ http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/detail

1. We go with a smaller cheaper studio for an evening session
2. We do an afternoon session where it's *really* cheap! I can take an afternoon off for a jam (I work weird hours so no problem for me).

What's the feedback on the above?

Paul Cohen
Producer
20 October 2017

Or what about your studio Fernando? Then you can make it!
(Mark mentioned you had one, if you're up for it?)

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
25 October 2017

Paul Cohen Thank you for wrapping up. If it’s weekday, I prefer evening session (after 7pm).
I watched Fernando’s youtube video before and was interested in his home studio, as it looks a cool place!

Paul Cohen
Producer
26 October 2017

What's the booking requirement Junta?
Do you have to pay all upfront or just a deposit or ?

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
26 October 2017

I think it's same as other music studios. They require to pay when we get into the room.

Paul Cohen
Producer
26 October 2017

I think 10 mat room would be enough with this size group no?
http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/price

How about we try and book the 10 mat for Wed 8th Nov 8-11 pm?
3 hours might be better, at cheaper price. 2 hours is bit rushing it, by the time you frig around fiddling with sound etc

If it's booked we could try the 13 or 8 mat for same date?

Bill Tribble
Artist
26 October 2017

If you mean Wed 8th, I'm in.

Paul Cohen
Producer
26 October 2017

ack, 8th it is. Fixed! ty.

Fernando Gros
Artist
26 October 2017

Paul - my studio is not large enough for an event like this.

s elliot perez
Musician
26 October 2017

Ah, I can't make it that day. Oh well, have fun!

Paul Cohen
Producer
26 October 2017

Np Fernando. I don't think we're going to have more than about 5 or 6 at the moment though. Small is probably better initially anyway.

Sara Segel
Musician
26 October 2017

Guys, sorry, but I’m out. I think it’s just too difficult to coordinate with the number of people esp. re: schedules. I prefer to just set dates for things right away and we have been deliberating over this for weeks... I’m not attacking anyone here. I just think that with the performance practice space situation being what it is in Tokyo (never free unless middle of the day or night) it’s too hard to coordinate. I know of jam meet ups that have sweet time slots in bars where you just buy a drink, but it seems none of us has the connections for that currently. The key thing for that, I think, is also for it to be recurring regularly. If a situation like this were to arise, and I will keep my eyes and ears open myself, I’m all for joining. Thanks Paul and Junta, though, for organizing!

Bill Tribble
Artist
26 October 2017

Ah, and we just got a date and a room lined up! Shrugs 😉

Sara Segel
Musician
26 October 2017

Really? Thought we were still in suggestions mode.

Paul Cohen
Producer
26 October 2017

Sara I hear ya, but this is a low energy organizing gig for me (mainly due to the reasons you outline;-). If we had got 10 confirmed interest I would have gone ahead and booked it weeks ago, but that didn't happen.
The money aspect also complicates things, so I wanted to explore some cheaper alternatives first.

as to date ->
Paul Cohen Producer 4 hr and 16 min ago Edit
I think 10 mat room would be enough with this size group no?
http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/price

How about we try and book the 10 mat for Wed 8th Nov 8-11 pm?
3 hours might be better, at cheaper price. 2 hours is bit rushing it, by the time you frig around fiddling with sound etc

If it's booked we could try the 13 or 8 mat for same date?

Sara Segel
Musician
26 October 2017

Paul, sounds good. Book it and I'll go. Thanks!

Bill Tribble
Artist
26 October 2017

In.

Mauro Arrighi
Musician
26 October 2017

I am really sorry: I will be "off" in November.

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
27 October 2017

I will book the room!
Day and time: Wed 8th Nov 8-11 pm
Place: http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/detail

Paul Cohen
Producer
27 October 2017

Thanks Junta!

Can we get a confirmation of attendance for
Day and time: Wed 8th Nov 8-11 pm ?
Place: http://www.gw-studio.com/studio/studio_shibu2/detail

That’s studio #3 at 2500/hr
If we get 4 people that’s 1875 yen each, if 5 it’s 1500 yen each, which is cheaper than most studios that charge min 800 yen per person per hour, which for 3 hours would normally cost 2400 yen each
Edit: I guess there's a 10% tax on top of those prices or included?

Confirmed:
Paul Cohen
Bill Tribble
Sara Segel
Junta Mitsugi ?

A couple more would be great

As it's a smaller studio I think we could probably cut it at 8 max, so first in first served. Please commit to show up and have some fun!

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
27 October 2017

Paul Cohen I'm in!

Paul Cohen
Producer
27 October 2017

Junta has booked the studio for us (ty Junta!).
Wed 8th Nov 8-11 pm
8100 yen(tax included). They said 5 people are maximum space-wise, so we will close this one at 5 people.
15 mat room is still available on that day and time.
Cost per person will be 1620 yen each at 5 people, for 3 hours.

Confirmed:
Paul Cohen
Bill Tribble
Sara Segel
Junta Mitsugi

Room for 1 more!

Bill Tribble
Artist
27 October 2017

Awesome, thanks Junta.

BTW Paul, be great if this forum scrolled to the bottom on load, eh.

Paul Cohen
Producer
3 November 2017

Bill Tribble
Sara Segel
Junta Mitsugi
Can you all spread the word and see if we can rope one more ambient soundtoy noise maker musician into our session on the 8th?

ty!

Paul Cohen
Producer
6 November 2017

Cae Rale said he was interested in coming

Check out the awesome tones in this
https://soundcloud.com/martin-stig-andersen/venus-martin-stig-andersen

via https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/308974/Audio_Design_Deep_Dive_Scoring_Wolfenstein_II_with_the_Baschet_sonic_sculptures.php

Paul Cohen
Producer
9 November 2017

Thanks everyone!
Pic posted here https://www.canvas.co.com/creations/4161

Bill Tribble
Artist
9 November 2017

Thanks Paul and everyone else for organising and getting involved! Was a great night 😄

Paul Cohen
Producer
23 November 2017

Next one on Dec 6: Sign up now @ https://canvasevents.doorkeeper.jp/events/67463

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

Hello everyone. Nice to meet you all.

First time using this website, and signed up from a friend (who seems to use the site often) who noticed this group and sent me a link. I then just decided to sign up and see what's going on :)

As for me, I pretty much only play guitar, and I haven't played guitar for a good 5+ years now, so I figured I'd try to get back into playing a little by joining this group. I have played a lot of guitar, and written a lot of songs, but all without knowing really anything about music theory. So, I apologize in advance if I have a hard time playing music with you guys, or not knowing how to "play in the key of ". If you guys don't mind, I think it might be sufficient enough for me if you guys can give me a few seconds before starting something, to let me memorize the scales and some chords before we play, that way I don't end up being completely lost while everyone's playing.

If you guys know an easier way for me to get up and running, with playing with you guys then I'm all ears.

Also, right now I only have an electric guitar, that's it. Not even a cord, or amp, or pedal (everything else I have is in the USA). So, will this be a problem? I can bring my guitar, but will I need to purchase cords and an amp before coming? Or, does the studio have some that I can use while there?

Goran Popovic
Photographer
4 December 2017

Hi ninja. And welcome!
Bring your guitar if you like, studios usually have everything you need. There is absolutely no reason for you to buy cords or amps for this jam session.
See you soon/

-g

Junta Mitsugi
Musician
4 December 2017

Hi Chad Travis!
Thank you for joining! The studio has amp and cords, so no need to worry about it. Let's have some fun! :)

Paul Cohen
Producer
4 December 2017

Hey Chad,
Yeah, just bring the guitar everything else is there. You can even rent a guitar if you want. No worries on music theory etc, we'll have some fun.
Simple keys, simple scales.

Goran Popovic
Photographer
4 December 2017

I dont know any scales either :O

Paul Cohen
Producer
4 December 2017

If you play two notes or more you're technically "playing a scale", you just don't know the name of it.
Though if you want to get really zen even one note counts as a minimal scale, as silence/ma is music too;-)

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

Paul,

Like Tencaious D's "One Note Song"? haha

And cool, I'll just bring my guitar. The only last thing I'm 'worried' about is, I work near Shibuya (two stations away), but I get off of work an hour before the jam and my house is a little far away. So, since I can't bring my guitar into work, I'd need to rush back home and pick it up, and then return back to Shibuya. Would there be an easy way to store it closer by, without me needing to take it into my workplace? I'd ideally like to try to use the guitar, since I like it and want to try to get more use out of it, but if it's too difficult, I can just use the guitars that are there. Will you guys mind if I'm a few minutes late so that I can run home to pick up my guitar? I'm thinking, max 30 minutes late, but most likely only like 10 minutes late.

Paul Cohen
Producer
4 December 2017

I'd just take the guitar to work;-)

Store it in one of the bigger lockers at the train station?
Check sizes on the way home tonight.

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

Hmm, the lockers don't look big enough. I guess I'll just try taking it to work, even though I've never seen anyone taking things like that to work. :P

On another note, I was thinking, if this session is "noise", then I assume you guys are into experimental stuff. If that's the case, can we also try to see if we can do some complex polyrhythm stuff? Like, each person has a time signature, and we try to stay in rhythm with each other through surmountingly more and more complex layered rhythms?

Sounds like it'd be a fun experiment :)

Paul Cohen
Producer
4 December 2017

Yeah, just take it in - impress them with your air guitar skilz at lunch!

>>On another note, I was thinking, if this session is "noise", then I assume you guys are into experimental stuff. If that's the case, can we also try to see if we can do some complex polyrhythm stuff?

Sounds like fun. You mean like Terry Riley? https://teropa.info/blog/2017/01/23/terry-rileys-in-c.html

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

Hmm, that just sounds like a loop with lots of layers.

I'm talking each person needs to keep track of their own time signature. Something like this, but not just drums:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGlYTBNjzz0

Google around for polyrhythms, if you're unfamiliar with them ;)

Here's another example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4oJWWGzb0o

Here's a more musical example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnRXfRIffjQ , this also includes odd-time, but at the end has polyrhythm layer on top. But, instead of just two time signatures, we can try to stack as many as we can haha

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

It looks like what Terry does is "Polyphony", which is a little different than polyrhythms. Polyphony is about texture and not having a single "main voice" or "main melody", but instead having many laced together. Polyrhythm is about time signatures that do not divide evenly with each other, like 3/4 against 4/4, played simultaneously. :)

Goran Popovic
Photographer
4 December 2017

Are you talking polyrhythm of bands like TOOL, Meshuggah, Sikth?
I'm down to that.

Paul Cohen
Producer
4 December 2017

I know polyrhythms ( I love African rhythms and do some experimental music using them) but don't discount the complexity of keeping it solid time playing multiple ones.

>>Hmm, that just sounds like a loop with lots of layers.

It is but it creates highly complex output from simple time shifted inputs. There's also a practical reason they did it that way:

"It came about during the rehearsals building up to the piece's 1964 premiere in the San Francisco Tape Music Center. People were finding it difficult to stay in rhythm while playing the divergent, polyrhythmic patterns. Steve Reich, who was part of the ensemble, suggested they needed something like a drummer to anchor the piece.
I love the idea that an element that's so integral to the composition came about from purely pragmatic concerns. It wasn't there when Riley conceived the piece. It was just added as a solution to a practical problem that the musicians faced during rehearsals. Somehow this just really demonstrates the open philosophy of "In C": Just like performing the piece is organic and open to the individual contributions of each player, so was the composition process itself."

Polyrhythms are great but I would suggest leaving that till later after warming up and getting in the groove. Keep it simple first off.

Chad Travis
Developer
4 December 2017

Ok, yeah. Sounds like you get what I'm saying then :) and I see. I missed that part when I skimmed the article (it's long!)

And, Goran, yeah, I love those bands haha

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